Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Friday, January 6, 2012

Gaia Warriors by Nicola Davies

Gaia Warriors
by Nicola Davies
Candlewick Press. 2011
ISBN: 9780763648084
Copy checked out from my local public library.
(Grades 5 and up)

Nicola Davies is a zoologist. Her passion for the environment is obvious by what she writes about. Topics she has covered include why animals are a certain size, (Just the right size), why scientist study animal feces, (Poop), animal communication (Talk, Talk, Squawk), and what are those little parasites that live on animal bodies (What’s eating you?) Her writing is accessible and perfect for sharing with students in grades 3 and up. 
My favorite book, the one I read to third graders every summer is Surprising Sharks. I love the last two lines, “But every year people kill 100 million sharks. If you were a shark swimming in the lovely blue sea, the last word you’d want to hear would be...human!”
In Gaia Warriors, Davies turns her pen to educate the middle and high school crowd about Global Warming. The book’s design is attractive and resembles a notebook or magazine, instead of an educational textbook. There are quotes in bold text from famous people who were not afraid to make changes and lots of color photos. Never preachy, (well, a little bit) Davies emphasize that we need to make some changes, big changes, if Earth’s inhabitants are to survive. 
“We all have a choice. We can carry on as usual and fry. Or we can take the opportunity climate change offers us to make a better world for everyone. In other words, we can CHOOSE to change for the better.”
The book is divided into two parts. 
Section One is a guide to some of the basic facts about what is happening to the earth and its climate, written in the form of answers to questions. In addition, interviews with experts or activists further explain the question’s answer.  Questions asked: What is Climate Change?, How do we know that the climate is changing?,  What’s causing climate change? But hasn’t the climate always changed?, Is climate change our fault? If it’s only a few degrees, what difference will it make? What if the Scientists have made a mistake, and we waste money preparing for something that never happens! It’s all to big and scary, and there’s nothing I can do about it!”
In Section Two,, Davies explains:
“So, here’s the problem: Our planet is warming up, and in your lifetimes and that of your children, it’s going to get a lot warmer.”
We can’t go back to the Stone Age because “we can’t support 9 billion people on Stone Age farming and technology. “ The solution is that we have to change.

“We will have to stop driving everywhere, flying everytime we go on vacation, eating whatever we want, and having lots of deep, hot baths. But then, most of the people in the world have never been able to do those things anyway, so it’s only fair that we should stop being so greedy and selfish with the planet’s resources.”
We are then introduced to everyday people who are out there making important and necessary changes in how they eat, get to work, vacation, and many other ways in which they try to use our resources wisely.
The book does include more information, glossary, and index. Unfortunately, it has no documentation as to back the author’s information. Despite that, which is important, this British import is an appealing presentation on Global Warming and its solutions.

I feel like a Gaia Warrior because I can commute to work riding my bicycle 5 months of the year. I acknowledge that I was very, very lucky to find a great job closer to where I live. 
Place this in your display for Earth Day.

And, speaking of saving the Earth, visit this site with high school students. We all know Daryl Hannah from her role as movie actor, but she is also a committed activist for the environment. Click on "Show" and see the many movies, no longer than 5 to 8 minutes, Daryl has made that explores ways to save our planet. They are charming and will inspire students to become Gaia Warriors.


  1. Thanks for the review! I feel like there aren't enough accessible science books for middle and high school kids like this one--a vast chasm between the elementary school offerings and adult NF.

  2. Appreciate the head's up about this title. Sounds wonderful. My first time with this blog & I'm happy to find it. Thanks again.


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